TV Ratings: NFL season opener scores for NBC, 'Vampire Diaries' and 'Nikita' premiere solidly

tvd-salvatores-201-320.jpgFast National ratings for Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010

The opening game of the NFL season may have seen low numbers on the scoreboard, but these numbers for NBC are through the roof. The Saints/Vikings game essentially sucked the competition dry, with viewership down significantly for other networks across the board.

Also notable was The CW's premiere of its new Thursday night lineup for the fall season. "The Vampire Diaries" has lost viewership since last season's record-breaking series premiere, but the Season 2 opener was on par with its usual numbers. "Nikita's" series premiere improved on "The Vampire Diaries," picking up viewers, as well as trouncing the numbers "Supernatural" used to get in the same timeslot. Both shows performed particularly well in the 18-49 demo.

NBC wins the night easily with an average of 22.9 million viewers and a 13.8 rating/23 share in households. In a distant second place is CBS (6.6 million, 4.3/7) followed by ABC (4.9 million, 3.1/5) and FOX (3.4 million, 2.3/4). The CW brought in 3.4 million viewers (2.1/3).

In the adults 18-49 demographic, NBC won with an 8.8 rating/24 share. Next was CBS (1.6/5) followed by The CW (1.5/4), ABC (1.3/3), and Fox (0.9/2).

Thursday hour by hour:

8 p.m.

NBC: NFL Kickoff Special (15.5 million, 9.6/17), Sunday Night Football (22.5 million, 13.6/22)
CBS: "Big Brother 12" (7.7 million viewers, 4.6/8 households)
ABC: "Wipeout" rerun (5.1 million, 3.1/5)
FOX: "Bones" rerun (4.5 million, 2.9/5)
The CW: "The Vampire Diaries" (3.4 million, 2.0/3)

18-49 leader: NBC's NFL Lineup (6.9)

9 p.m.

NBC: Sunday Night Football (26.9 million, 16.0/26)
CBS: "CSI" rerun (5.9 million, 3.8/6)
ABC: "Rookie Blue" (4.9 million, 3.2/5)
FOX: "Fringe" rerun (2.4 million, 1.6/3)
The CW: "Nikita" (3.5 million, 2.2/3)

18-49 leader: Sunday Night Football (10.3)

10 p.m.

NBC: Sunday Night Football (22.7 million, 13.8/23)
CBS: "The Mentalist" rerun (6.6 million, 4.5/8)
ABC: "Rookie Blue" (4.7 million, 3.1/5)

18-49 leader: Sunday Night Football (9.3)

Ratings information includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change. Source: The Nielsen Company.

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Photo credit: CBS